Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a highly regarded conservative jurist best known for upholding religious liberty rights in the legal battles over Obamacare, has emerged as a leading contender for President Trump’s first Supreme Court nomination. Gorsuch, 49, was among 21 potential high court candidates circulated by Trump’s team during the campaign, but his stock

has been rising lately as several admirers and supporters have been named to positions in the Trump administration. He currently serves on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A former clerk for Justice Byron White, also a Colorado native, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, he served in the George W. Bush administration’s Justice Department. READ MORE